Sen. Grace Poe said the full force of the law must be brought upon all sugar hoarders creating artificial shortage and jacking up the price of the commodity in the country.
In her interpellation of Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri’s privilege speech on the country’s sugar supply, Poe lamented, “Some say that there’s a shortage and perhaps because marami ngang nakaimbak sa mga storage na hindi inilalabas.”
“Ngayon, sino ang may-ari ng mga inimport na ‘yan? Obviously, binigyan ‘yan ng permit ng SRA pero mayroong may mga lisensya para mag-import n’yan. Have we identified those companies or individuals because they could be a syndicate of the same people doing that over and over again,” Poe stressed.
The chairperson of the Senate committee on economic affairs said that all government officials and employees who make possible all undue importations that cause the people to suffer must be held accountable.
Sugar brought in under an import permit is then hoarded by unscrupulous groups, to be sold only when the market price becomes high.
“This is how it’s happening: They have all the sugar in their warehouse but they’re hoarding it. And then they ask for another permit to import so that when the price goes up obviously because of the initial hoarding, they have the supply and they’re going to sell it at that higher amount,” Poe explained.
“In a hearing at the proper time, we should identify those individuals and if there’s really proof that they’re hoarding as much as over 100,000 tons,” Poe added.